VW’s Scout EV brand bows, around $2B US plant and truck nostalgia


Scout Motors on Thursday announced it has broken ground on a $2 billion plant in South Carolina that could eventually produce up to 200,000 EVs per year. 

The facility in Blythewood, “near major cities and talent hubs,” is also near the ports of Charleston and Savannah, and it’s possible that a portion of the plant’s output will be exported. Scout is sticking to the late-2026 production start that it revealed last year. 

Scout revives a brand formed around nostalgia for trucks made by International Harvester from 1960 to 1980—and the brand appears to have brought an entire collection of vintage Scout vehicles out for the opening.

The modern Scout lineup will include trucks (pickups) and “rugged SUVs,” with “a newly designed all-electric platform, engineered to deliver credible capability and off-road prowess, with a focus on ground clearance, approach angles, robust axles, payload capacity, all-electric range, and new digital features.”

Anything Scout Vintage Racing Team's 1976 Scout Terra

Anything Scout Vintage Racing Team’s 1976 Scout Terra

A report last year, citing Scout CEO Scott Keogh, noted that the first product from the brand will be a “rugged utility vehicle,” or RUV, while a larger electric pickup will follow soon after. 

Scout won’t be a luxury brand, and its products won’t be priced as such. As the CEO emphasized in that interview, starting Scout EV prices will be in the $40,000 range. 

Teaser for modern Scout electric SUV and pickup

Teaser for modern Scout electric SUV and pickup

Teaser for Scout SUV concept

Teaser for Scout SUV concept

Teaser for modern Scout electric SUV and pickup

Teaser for modern Scout electric SUV and pickup

The brand has released little other info yet about those products or the platform. According to a November report, VW was considering turning to Austria’s Magna rather than using its own engineering and development resources. The brand notes that in the U.S., it is hiring. Like the rest of the VW Group in the U.S., it’s committed to the Tesla NACS charge connector.

Volkswagen announced Scout in 2022 as a brand under the control of the parent company, not VW of America—allowing the space for a different direct-sales model. Announced at the peak of heightened demand for EVs, it was a complete surprise to VW’s U.S. dealers, who had been reportedly been asking for an electric truck. The VW brand’s only U.S. EV remains the ID.4, although the ID.7 hatchback and long-awaited ID.Buzz electric van are both arriving soon.  


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